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Got a Building from the 70s/80s – Read This!

September 12, 2014 • Josephine

If you are involved in the renovation, demolition or even inhabitance of a building that was built in the 70s or 80s in Australia, then you may well have asbestos containing materials in that building.

Every workplace having identified asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) is required by law to have a written plan for its maintenance in such a way that there is no release of asbestos fibres. Written specific to a portion of the facility or the entire facility, the asbestos management plan (AMP) should also contain response procedures for any possible episodes of asbestos fibre release. Details of materials assumed to contain asbestos by the asbestos assessor are also to be included in the plan, unless they have been tested and proven to be safe. An asbestos management plan is not required for domestic premises.

Everyone in the building must be aware of the presence of asbestos which must be clearly labelled and signs posted. They should also know the consequences of asbestos exposure and appropriate control measures required.

Aim of the plan: To prevent exposure of staff and site visitors to airborne asbestos fibres. To achieve this, it should contain information on what will be done – when and how the asbestos is going to be managed. The plan must be updated regularly to keep the information current. The plan should be maintained by a person who has management and control of the workplace.

What it must contain?

There are clear guidelines as to what is contained in an asbestos management plan. The law specifies that an AMP must contain:

  • The workplace’s asbestos register. This document records each and every occurrence of asbestos or ACM throughout the building.
  • Details on any maintenance or service work done. This includes details on what was done, who did the work, when it was done and any necessary clearance certificates.
  • Safe work procedures, control measures and procedure for handling accidents or emergencies involving asbestos.
  • Information and training arrangements for workers and contractors who carry out work involving ACM.
  • Clear-cut division of responsibilities for each person included in the asbestos management.
  • Air monitoring procedure, if required.
  • An action time table which includes priorities and risk assessment review dates.
  • Any special circumstance which might affect the time table.
  • Procedure and time table for review and update of the management plan as well as the asbestos register.

Review of AMP

The AMP must be reviewed and revised at least once in five years or when:

  • There is a control measure or a review of the asbestos register.
  • There is any disturbance, asbestos removals, sealing or enclosing of asbestos at the workplace.
  • The plan proves to be inadequate for asbestos management at a future date.
  • A review is requested by a health and safety representative if they feel that the health and safety of any member of the work force is affected or that the AMP was not reviewed adequately.


Access to the AMP

The person responsible for maintaining the AMP must ensure that it is kept at the workplace and is easily accessible to:

  • Any worker, who has worked, is working or intends to work at the facility.
  • All health and safety representatives who represent those workers.
  • A person conducting a business who might work at the workplace or require work to be carried out at the workplace.

For more information or for a consultation please feel free to contact the guys at Asbestos Clear for inspection and testing services in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

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